Substantive debate? Please, this is an election year. The Seamus the dog debate is the political parallel of a cat on a Roomba, says media critic Barbara Lippert. “It’s all fair in dogs and war,” she says, talking about how the press has fueled the fire of the politician’s dog debate, focusing people’s attention on the stupid, rather than the substantive. And mainstream media picks up on the stories because, well, they’re fun.